Lora's Reviews > Fire

Fire by Kristin Cashore
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's review
Mar 11, 11

bookshelves: lib-audiobooks, fantasy
Read from March 03 to 08, 2011

"Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire. My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly, keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?"---Theodore Roethke, In A Dark Time

I believe that quote reflects Fire's inner turmoil with her ability quite well.

There's a war on the horizon, and Fire's the last remaining human Monster known to the Dellian people, and so, because of her ability to alter and manipulate minds, she's called to interrogate prisoners by the Dellians' leader, King Nash.
But Fire's afraid of becoming like her father; Cansrel was a harsh, sadistic man who cared about no one but his daughter. And Fire isn't willing to trust that she won't end up like him, if in fact she chooses to use her power in such a way that King Nash is asking of her.
But with so much at stake, what choice does she have?

Although I wouldn't go straight to saying that Fire's another favorite of mine, I very much enjoyed her character in this. Ms. Cashore has a way of writing her characters, be they male or female, and making them so that you can't help but like them, if not love them. Against all odds, I really liked Fire as a heroine. I say against all odds because, despite her instant appeal to all who encounter her (view spoiler), a theme that seems to be growing among authors (and one I'm not very fond of), I really liked her character. My interest in her grew over the course of the novel, and by the end I had a great sense of respect and admiration for her.

Brigan has a sort of roguish charm and aloofness about him that makes him seem attractive and fasincating. Brigan's character slowly evolves during the course of the novel, and by the end of Fire you're completely in his snare.

I'd say the most disappointing thing about this novel is its lack of romance. Fire and Brigan don't have nearly enough page time together. But the moments that they did have were enjoyable, however few and far between. It isn't really until the last quarter of Fire when their relationship starts to heat up and become something more than just friends conversing.
Initially, Brigan isn't very fond of Fire and all of her Monster glory. But he has good reason: Fire's father, Cansrel, controlled and manipulated Brigan's father, Nax, while he was the king of the Dells. This eventually led to Nax's death. Between this and the fact that Brigan knows the harsh and potentially evil nature all Monsters have, he isn't willing to show Fire any kindness upon first meeting her, let alone fall down in adoration and lust, as most who come into contact with Fire do. But it's actually not very far into the novel before Brigan begins treating Fire with respect and even as if she were a friend or ally of his. This, of course, given Fire's inhuman beauty and allure, isn't exactly the kind of attention Fire is used to getting from men or from anyone, for that matter. But Fire enjoys having someone be kind to her without expecting something more from her. And Brigan's kindness and friendship eventually causes Fire to fall for him. And I think Brigan's eventual declaration of love is done perfectly, and not a moment too soon:

FAVORITE QUOTE: "The moment I began to love you was the moment when you saw your fiddle smashed on the ground. And you turned away from me and cried against your horse. Your saddness is one of the things that makes you beautiful to me, don't you see that?"

See? Ms. Cashore's writting really is amazing. Here's another quote I'd like to share with you:

"We're going to win this war, you know." he said. "Now that our armies are together. But the world doesn't care who wins. It'll go on spinning. No matter how many people are slaughtered tomorrow. No matter if you and I are slaughtered." After a moment, he added, "I almost wish it wouldn't, if we aren't allowed to go on spinning with it."

Fire actually has another love interest in this: Archer. (For those who're not into the love-triangle, like me, you don't have to worry: it's not one of those annoying types of love triangles, it's well played out IMO.) I liked his character a great deal, actually, even though he's a complete rake and may not have his priorities straight, he still came off as likable and a nice edition to the plot. (view spoiler) However, I do think more time could've been spent developing Fire and Brigan's relationship, rather than dealing with Fire and Archer's.

One thing about Kristin Cashore, she's not afraid to write about grief and sorrow in her novels. You'll be going along reading and, usually towards the end, she'll drop some sort of unexpected literary bomb on you. (view spoiler) Most authors seem to stray away from anything they think might offend, anger, or disappoint their readers. Not Ms. Cashore.

A few words on the audio itself:

Xanthe Elbrick, the narrator of Fire, does a rather amazing job of differentiating her own voice from the plethora of characters featured in Fire. This woman is talented, I tell you! She truly deserves an award for her narrative in this. Her talent is definitely of a higher caliber than most in her profession.

Taking everything into consideration I'd have to say that I really liked Fire, albeit not as much as Graceling, and I'm very much looking forward to reading Bitterblue when it releases in September of this year. (It's set to have Po and Katsa in it! *happy dance*)
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Reading Progress

60.0% "I'm on disc 6 and I'm in chapter 17. Really liking it so far^^" 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Flannery I'm so happy you liked the audio:-) Your review made me want to read it again. I agree with you about the love triangle--I wasn't sure who to root for!

Arlene I agree with Flann... I want to read this book again now. Great review!!

message 3: by Nic (new) - added it

Nic Great review. I am definitely going to try and get my hands on this in audio form.

message 4: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah M Great Review Lora. I am going to be reading this soon when my brother finishes it!

Lora Thanks girls! :)

Tatiana Lora, I was under the impression I was the only person who thought (view spoiler) In fact, I never saw it mentioned in any other reviews. Glad to know I wasn't imagining it:)

Lora Tatiana wrote: "Lora, I was under the impression I was the only person who thought [spoilers removed] In fact, I never saw it mentioned in any other reviews. Glad to know I wasn't imagining it:)"

You definitely weren't imagining it, Tatiana. It's been a while since I read this, but that specific point still sticks out in my memory.

Tatiana IDK if Cashore did this intentionally, and she doesn't like to answer questions about it, but like in the case of (view spoiler)

message 9: by Lora (last edited Feb 02, 2012 05:51AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lora Tatiana wrote: "IDK if Cashore did this intentionally, and she doesn't like to answer questions about it, but like in the case of [spoilers removed]"

Now that I'm having trouble remembering.

I'll be doing a reread of these sometime before I get my hands on a copy of Bitterblue, though. I'll be sure to look for it. ;)

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I love your review and I hope you're right about Fire. I'm thinking whether or not i should read it so thx for the great review.

message 11: by Izzy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Izzy I also love that quote from Prince Brigan!

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